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Handicap International Foundation, Director

Nathalie Herlemont has been working with Handicap International for 15 years. She first headed the Strategic Policy Unit, located in the Office of the General Director. The purpose of the unit was to direct, advise and assist decision-making on subjects involving Handicap International at an ethical, political or strategic level.

The Foundation was created in 2014. Its mandate is to provide close support to the programmes and all HI activities and entities on ethical and political issues encountered in the field, to provide in-house trainings and pre-departure briefings, contextual analyses and support field missions… The Foundation also draws on field observations to promote views of Handicap International within international networks, and feeds and encourages internal debate. With  this  mandate,  the  Foundation  intends to promote an original model combining flexibility  and  reaction  capacity  in  order  to  develop direct and essential links between the field, institutional  bodies and academic partners.

Before taking up her position with Handicap International, Nathalie Herlemont-Zoritchak was in charge of international relations for Coordination Sud (an umbrella of 140 French NGOs) from 1998 to 2002. She has also made regular field visits to Albania, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kenya, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast, DRC, Lebanon/Jordan amongst others.

After completing a PhD in Political Science, she has oriented her research towards the involvement of NGOs “without borders” in conflict situations (during the period 1971-2001), global changes in ideology and their effect on trying to preserve the “humanitarian space” of NGOs, as well as protection issues related to vulnerable groups and the implementation of human rights and humanitarian law. She is currently a senior Lecturer in CERAH (Center for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action) at the Geneva University, especially teaching on actors dynamics in humanitarian settings.